Basingstoke - Damien Review

Damien's picture
How Helpful?: 
No votes yet
Number of Visits: 
This was my first visit
How Busy?: 
10 - 25 minute wait
Date of Last Visit: 
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Time of Day: 
Weekend Lunch
4 / 5
Friendliness of Staff: 
4 (Good stuff. Very polite)
Speed of Service: 
4 (5 - 10 mins - Some conversation had begun)
Quality of Food: 
4 (Above average - noticeably tastier than normal)
Decoration & Cleanliness: 
4 (Very clean, newly furnished, impressive artwork and lighting)
Comments - Stand out in our monthly competition! What did you eat? Unique aspects? Parking/transport tips?: 

Basingstoke Nando's was our 58th stop on the quest and our first time out of London for a Nando's since June.
The restaurant sits on the outside of the ten year old Festival Place shopping centre, which has reasonably-priced parking facilities, an Iceland, and at least two pound shops.
We had a 20 minute wait for a table, which wasn't too bad, considering it was Saturday lunchtime and the place was heaving with diners. We spent the 20 minutes in the Wetherspoons just 2 doors away.

The restaurant is short and narrow with high ceilings, interesting lighting, and a scattering of the usual types of art.
We were seated on a long bench-like table with another group on the other side, a few random bottles of sauce dividing us.
The queue system seemed to be a bit messy, with prams all over the place and no distinction between people waiting to order and people waiting for a table. Those who queued for the food were also annoyed at the lack of attention from some of the staff on the counter who either stood there doing nothing for long periods of time, or kept getting sidetracked.
The staff who came to our table were all lovely though, one (I believe her name was Amy) even outwardly apologised and told us that it was her job to help when Jewel told her that neither of the salt cellars on our table contained anything.
The food itself was all brought out together and cooked well. I had no complaints there.
Little things like the lack of lids on lots of the sauce bottles and the messy organisation of the door and queue areas let it down, otherwise it was a wholly enjoyable Nando's visit which provided proof that a bust Saturday lunchtime doesn't need to mean a forced in and our noise-fest.

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